Legacy applications are a double-edged sword. In some cases, they’re necessary for the operation of your business. But given their proprietary – and often, outdated – nature, they can be hard to deal with when you need to migrate your IT infrastructure to the cloud.
However, it’s not impossible to make your legacy apps “cloud ready”, and in this article, we’ll look at a few basic steps you can take to do just that. Here’s what you need to know.
The benefits of cloud are often immediately recognizable to businesses’ that have migrated from a legacy-based architecture. Using the cloud-based applications helps businesses’ the to reduce their operational costs as well as to improve the scalability, availability and reliability of their services.
To take full advantage of cloud technology, enterprises must create a strategy for migrating their on-premise applications to the cloud. The problem with migrating a legacy application to the cloud can be a very complicated and time consuming process, due to the complexity of applications, the current reliance upon the software by the enterprises and the variety of available cloud services.
1. Perform an Application Portfolio Assessment
The first thing that you need to do when migrating a legacy application is assess your overall portfolio of applications. Legacy migration is the perfect time to look at all of the applications you’re using, and decide which ones truly need to be migrated to the cloud – and which ones may need to be “sunsetted” and phased-out over time.
2. Consider the Costs of Migration
Once you’ve assessed all of the applications in your portfolio and determined which ones need to be migrated, you should consider the costs of migration. Unfortunately, there is a cost associated with the migration process. When creating a migration plan, this cost can be absorbed and recouped with the benefits that cloud will bring. Often shareholders think that migrating to the cloud will automatically be cheaper, this isn’t always the case.
You need to be careful when moving applications to the cloud, and make sure that they can be migrated quickly, especially if the applications that are being migrated are core applications. Making the shareholders understand that moving to the cloud will actually bring real benefits when it comes to efficiency and automation.
3. Make the Right Move for Your Team
Technology factors aren’t the only aspect you’ll want to consider when moving applications to the cloud or deciding to phase them out. Before making a major decision that involves a critical application for your company, get input from all of the departments and business teams that use it – this will help you understand what you need to do when you move your application to the cloud. A full buy-in to the process will make it much easier to plan and execute.
4. Evaluate Your Options for Legacy Application Migration
You have a lot of options when it comes to legacy application migration – from containers, to wrappers, microservices, and even third-party cloud platforms that use APIs to connect to legacy databases. It’s hard to know which one is best – so make sure you do a thorough cost assessment. Different options will bring different costs and complexities, so this step should not be rushed, particularly for mission-critical software.
Often having a partner who understands the technologies available to make this switch will make the process go smoother.
5. Create A “Cloud Culture” In Your IT Department
Truly embracing the cloud means adopting an approach to IT that focuses on collaboration, and development using an agile or waterfall approach. The cloud increases flexibility and business agility – and to fully realize these benefits, you need to get “buy-in” from your IT team. Train your workers and ensure that you’re developing a cloud-based culture of collaboration.
6. Keep Your Data Secure
Don’t overlook the safety and security of your data. Even if it’s in a private cloud, your legacy applications can be exposed to attack – so make sure that you follow security best practices when preparing and migrating cloud applications.
Ensure you meet all corporate compliance requirements and have adequate SLAs in place – and that users and IT workers alike are also following regulations to keep your data intact, and avoid attacks and malicious hackers.
Follow This Guide for Legacy Migrations
Migrating legacy software to the cloud is not easy, but it has a variety of powerful benefits that should not be overlooked. Following this guide and many available on the web, and making sure you take the right steps for your next cloud migration project will help your company make the right decisions.